Ardern preferred as PM but Nats favoured party
Donald Trump again dominated headlines in the week just passed but there were some interesting developments here, not the least of them the first major poll since the election in which Labour surprisingly failed to get the usual honeymoon-based bounce.
The first One News Colmar Brunton poll since the election has National still the most popular party, up nearly 2 percentage points to 46. Labour also moved forward 2 points but was still seven behind National on 39 percent. The Greens were steady at seven and New Zealand First down two at five.
It is no surprise that Jacinda Ardern was the preferred prime minister with 37 percent of those polled. Her predecessor Bill English slid to 28 percent.
There was more good news for the Government with 51 percent saying it was going in the right direction, compared with 26 percent saying the opposite.
Overall, however, the poll will be slightly disappointing for the Government which does not seem to have enjoyed the surge that previously tended to follow a change in government. Some of that might be put down to some still feeling cheated by the eventual election outcome.
National would have been encouraged by the first major sign of disunity in the ruling triumvirate of parties, with Shane Jones’ maverick announcement of a work-for-the dole scheme which is anathema to the Greens and not something Labour would want.
It forced Ardern to show the first example of how she can skip around a difficult issue and her response was sure-footed, gently throwing cold water on the idea without an outright condemnation. But it was a sign that more serious challenges could lie ahead because New Zealand First will want to do all it can to avoid suffering the fate of the Maori Party.
Nothing in this country, however, could match the dramatic statement by Trump that the United States would recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It sparked riots in the Middle East and almost universal condemnation from other leaders around the world.